Monday, September 28, 2015

The Patience Project

So... what started this?

I am excited about my life.
The things that God has brought me through so far, the blessings He's poured out... the here and now and everything that's happening and all He's showing me... and of course, I'm excited about the future.

Ah, the Future.
Yep, tend to get stuck there sometimes...

I have a tendency to read posts and articles about marriage. There are some blogs I like to follow, and a couple of Facebook pages in my newsfeed. Some of the things I read are so encouraging. I love to see healthy, godly marriages and families, and hear their stories.
It gives me hope.

Yes, there are is an abundance out there... a huge resource of Christian material for married women, young and old alike. Sharing stories, spreading encouragement, passing along life lessons...

But... where are the resources for young women who are going through just as beautiful and complicated a season? The season of a relationship before marriage?

There are some pretty big differences. The two seasons are separate.
For instance...

--We can't read The Love Dare with our boyfriends.
--We can find all about God's design for being a Wife... but what about when you're still a girlfriend? What is your role now?
--Are there any Bible studies for couples who aren't married? Because we can't do the marriage ones, due to the topics they get into...
--Ten Ways to Love Your Husband... how about Ten Ways to Love Your Boyfriend?
--How to Pray For Your Husband... how to Pray For Your Boyfriend?

Well, you get the idea.

The fact is, there is a lot of help out there for women who are married. And praise God, because Heaven knows they need it. And hopefully someday you and I will need it too.

But right now, is it appropriate for me to be reading the marriage blogs? Is it wise for me to be staring toward the future, or shouldn't I be living in the here and now God has blessed me with? Treasuring it for what it is. Making every moment count. 

I should be focusing on my present life, and the current stage of my relationship with this wonderful man God has stitched to my heart.

My energy needs to be put in the right place: On The Lord and my walk with Him, the person I am striving to become, and the relationship and friendships I'm blessed with.

And sometimes I need advice, or I need the perspective of someone else in the same stage of life as me. Somebody who can relate. Somebody who just went though this too, and can share what helped them.

And I can't be the only one. That is why I notice the lack of resources for these kinds of relationships.

So, here is Project Patience.

I am excited about this! This is an area of my life I'm passionate about, and to be able share and learn and grow... I'm grateful for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

First things first: Right here, right now: this project is dedicated to God. To the King of my Heart and the Lord of my Life. To the One who makes all things possible, gives us unending, amazing grace, and the creator of Love Himself. All things are possible through Him. He gave me this life and the capability to Love, and I want to Live it for all it's worth...! 

In Jesus'  Name, Amen.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Sacred Season

You need to know something.

You, daughter of the King, in a godly and committed relationship.

These are the days you'll miss.  

And you may look forward with longing to your wedding day, you may dream of that sacred life together, you may spend some moments just wishing the time would hurry up and so you can be his wife, and raise a family, and life can be beautiful.

And yes, you know there will be hardships. You aren't that naive. You know it won't be easy.

But you just can't wait. You can't wait to get married and have a beautiful, strong, God-honoring marriage with the man you love. You can't wait to have your own home, to welcome him home from work, to pray with him each morning as his wife, to experience the mysteries of intimacy you two cannot share just yet...

You've got it all kept in your heart, just bursting.

You're waiting. And sometimes it hurts.

But you need to know something. 

This period of your life is short and fleeting. It is a treasure and it is sacred.

And it is the most important. 

You are building a foundation. Right now, this instant. Every little thing you say, every little thing you do. It's what you are doing now, what you did yesterday, and what you will do tomorrow.

Be realistic. Right now.

The habits you have. The attitudes you exude. The thoughts you think. The characteristics you cultivate.

Are you who you are supposed to be?

I know I'm not... and I've been aware of what I need to change for 3 years. And I've been trying to work on myself... for 3 years. And more stuff just pops up.

Will I ever be perfect? Will I ever be ready? No.
Not in my own right.

But I have a Savior who died to make me whole. The broken bits I feel, they don't exist anymore.
So why am I not perfect?

I still live as if I am bound to sin. I still mess up. Everyday!
I can toil and strain, but it won't mean a thing if I don't come to the throne of Grace.

Why am I not perfect, if He died and cleansed my Spirit? And also gave me is Holy Spirit to live in me?

Ah, I Spirit is saved... but my body and mind are still of this world.

And instead of fruitlessly trying to change them to be perfect, which they can never be, I need to cast off these things. I need to be dying to the body, to the mind. I need to be learning to live, think, walk, be in my Spirit. That is who I AM. Or who I could be, if I realized it.

This body, this mind, it will pass away. My Spirit will not, praise be to God.

We have such a huge opportunity, such potential to become, and yet we don't even know it. We don't know how, or why things just aren't working like they should. We miss the solution.

The answer is surrender. The answer is not relying on your own understanding. The answer is walking in the Spirit, with the Lover of your soul.

The joining of two into one is a Holy and momentous thing. I think the best way to begin to understand just how sacred it is... is first to understand just how sacred you are.

Walk with Him first. Be whole in Him first. Build the foundation of your identity, your life, upon Him, the Rock. Who you were designed to be, who He says you are. You are complete in Him. And only in Him. 

Do not think that you will find your purpose or worth through getting married, that a man just as human as you can do for you what God has already done, and is just waiting for you to reach out and accept.

Ready yourself. Find the truth, the whole truth, and stand firm upon it.

Do not rush. Do not wish away your life or pine for a day that is in God's capable, loving hands. There is no harm in waiting. There are only blessings to be had! Use this time wisely to grow more than you have ever grown, to strengthen yourself in Christ. Be who you were created to be, and watch His amazing plan for your life unfold.

Women, lay your foundation wisely. What you do now, and who you allow yourself to be now is what you will bring to a marriage in the future. You're deciding that for yourself today, this instant: what your marriage will be.

 Marriage is an empty box at the beginning- you don't get anything out of it. You put treasure into it. Make your treasures Spiritual, and build them up for yourselves in Heaven.

This is my advice to you, and to myself.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

An Open Letter

First of all, a disclaimer:

I am by no means an authority on the matters of Love, Relationships, and Marriage.

I'm just a girl, trying to find my way throughout this amazing journey like all the rest.

But I want to share what I have learned thus far, and create a place where we can all share thoughts, advice, and experiences.

Each of us walks a different path, and we are all wise in our own right. The Lord has revealed different pieces of wisdom to each of us, and I believe that we can help each other put the pieces together through fellowship.

The last four years of my life have been a roller-coaster-crash-course in learning Patience, Discernment, Maturity, and a whole plethora of other traits, none of which I have come close to mastering.

At eighteen years of age, I can stand here and tell you that I have met the man I will one day marry. (Lord, may Your will be done.) And God placed him in my life when I was merely fifteen.

I love our Love Story... and I want it to reflect the Ultimate Love Story, the truth of God's Love for mankind.

We are on a journey to learn God's purpose for our lives as individuals, our life as a couple, and our relationship as a whole, as we grow in depth of understanding and knowledge, serving Him and relying on His ways and His timing.

I want to be a good and godly Wife to him someday. I want to be a good uplifting girlfriend now.

I have so very much to learn and cultivate as this journey continues and the pages of this book are written. Father, write Your story on my heart, on his...

May our life to be a Love song to Him!

As life goes on, I hope to share and encourage through this blog, and in turn hear what some of you ladies have to say.